Thursday, July 1, 2010

All-Stars Looking Good

Game 79: Durham Bulls 5; Louisville Bats 4
Season: 48-31; This Home Stand: 5-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

The Bulls load the bases in the bottom of the 10th of a tie game. The Bats pitcher, Jared Burton, walks Jose Lobaton for Bulls win.

A look at our all-stars, and a couple of plays.

Dan Johnson. The recently named International League All-Star started in left field, something he’s done a couple of times although he's usually at first or third. From there he was able to watch Jeremy Hellickson’s worst start. The Bats hit him hard. Hellickson was well over 50 pitches in the 3rd inning with two outs and runners on second and third when DJ made a very nice sliding catch to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, DJ's RBI single got the Bulls back within one run of the Bats (2-3).

In the top of the 4th, Johnson played a carom off the Blue Monster and made a perfect throw to Dillon coverning second base to tag out a Bat trying to stretch a single into a double. That started off Hellickson’s only 1-2-3 inning.

In the 5th another RBI single tied it up. A solid night’s work for DJ.

Joe Dillon is another IL All-Star in last night’s lineup (the third, Elliot Johnson is still on the DL, due back “soon”). He was also in line to be the night’s goat until the 10th. In the 2nd he struck out with DJ on first. In the 3rd he popped up to the catcher with DJ on first. In the 5th he grounded out with Ruggiano on second and DJ on first (are we beginning to see a pattern here?). In the 7th he took the blame for Lobaton’s bad throw that let a run in.

Nevertheless, in the 10th he had a one out single. Desmond Jennings came in to pinch run for him, and Jennings scored the winning run. All was forgiven.

Must point out that newest Bull, Dioner Navarro, got his first hit. As the night’s designated hitter, he got a single in the 8th that turned out to be crucial. OK, what was really crucial was Montoyo’s decision to take advantage of the hit by pinch running Omar Luna, who then scored on Chris Richard’s double. Not sure that Navarro makes it from first to home.

That’s two key pinch runner decisions by the last All-Star, that is, Charlie Montoyo, the manager of the team.

Darin Downs got the win. He’s making Triple A look easy. Three appearances, a total of five innings, two wins. Not bad.

Side note: Bulls fans will remember with some fondness relief pitcher Jason Childers, one of the guys that got us to the playoffs last year and then went off to win a gold medal with Team USA in the World Cup. Adam Sobsey has a nice profile in this week’s Indy Week.


  1. In my mind, the plays of the game last night was Montoyo putting in the pinch runners. I was a bit surprised that he started with Luna not Jennings, though he certainly has info I don't (and, for what it is worth, I think you are giving Navarro too much credit, there is no way he would have scored from first on that play). Similarly, as much as I love Joe Dillon, I don't think he has a chance to beat that throw to second the way Jennings did (though, from my angle, it looked like Jennings didn't beat it either).

    Fun game, sadly I think it will be the last we get to in person for a while. At least we went out on a good one.

  2. Hmmm. Guess I didn't say it as clearly as I could. Thought the pinch running decisions were really good ones. Didn't try to explain Jennings play because I thought it'd take up too much space (I try to keep my posts to less than 500 words — don't always succeed). Agree that Navarro would not have made it home. Just thought I'd soften it up a bit for the new guy.

    Too bad about missing the games. This 11-day stretch is getting to me. May miss one or two, but sounds like you'll be gone for a while.

    There's always TV :)

  3. No confusion, just making sure everyone gets full credit for their work. :)

    I will certainly be around, trying to get a few games on TV, mostly following the gamecasts on-line. Yesterday we just decided that, with my wife's due date now just a couple weeks away, it is just getting too uncomfortable to sit in those seats in the heat we have been having (though last night was great). Plus, although I am sure their EMS folks are great, I am not sure that the DBAP is where we want to start going into labor. Hopefully all will go well and we will be able to get back out to games towards the end of the summer, though we might have to pick some different seats.

  4. DRR, good luck with the upcoming delivery! Your wife is quite a trooper to have come to games when 9-months pregnant! I see DPAB birthday parties in your future :)

  5. Oops, make that "DBAP" parties, not "DPAB"!

  6. that would look good on a resume though...

    "Born on the Fourth of July at the DBAP"

    but I guess the Mom thinks differently

    Good luck with your baby